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Still Here...

Posted by GrYph0n, Jul 10 2007, 11:36 PM in Military Career Related

Well, I figured that I would let everyone know that I am still alive and kicking. Still out here in Iraq, and will be for a while to come. Not really much to say about anything since I am really far behind in the realm of the mobile gadget world, but I look forward to catching up when I get back home. I am glad to see that Pocket Quicken has finally been ported over to the smartphone platform, that is really one of the biggest things that I miss that the pocket pc had over the smartphone, but now I will be able to have my cake and eat it too. I can't wait to get back and see all the phones that are out, and then go through deciding which one I want because I am saving up a little change out here for just that.

Here is a little picture of me with two Iraqi Policemen taken just before we stepped out on a patrol. I had difficulties getting in here to post on the blog, so for those of you with myspace (yes, I caved in and created one) (www.myspace.com/eric_d_jones), you can link up with me on there. I really hope all is well with everyone...Attached Image

Life is Hectic...

Posted by GrYph0n, Jan 9 2007, 04:49 AM in Military Career Related

Well folks, I am sure some of you may have noticed that I haven't been around that much lately. I would like to apologize for that. I am around from time to time, but usually don't find a need to post too much (Our great staff and member base usually beats me to it). I really haven't had much time to my self these days, and it is only getting more and more hectic and fast paced. I am in a workup cycle to head over to Iraq this summer sometime. I will be gone longer this time than I was on the last deployment, but you better believe that I will be keeping everyone posted on things (if at all possible), just like I did on my last deployment.

Some may be wondering what I have been up to these last few months. Well, honestly I have been spending a lot of time training or in the field. I have also been attending professional Marine Corps schools (I'm in one now for the next 9 weeks). I get a lot of homework, and there is a lot of field time with this school as well, so I will be around even less in for a while. I am not stepping down or away, just thought I would let everyone know what I have been up to lately. I will leave you with this picture that was taken a few weeks ago, out on a range to become more familiar with foreign weapons (AK-47).

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Just Entered the Windows LiveSpace Network

Posted by GrYph0n, Sep 6 2006, 12:51 AM in Misc...

Well I just recently updated my MSN Passport to an email address that I actually use and have access to. In doing so, I started playing with some of the LiveSpace stuff. I like how I can add, edit, remove, etc. all from my phone, any WM Device, or computer. I have uploaded a bunch of pictures from my deployment, and I am continuing to play with things on there as well. Looks like MS is taking a stab at MySpace as well as everyone else out there. Hmmm... World domination attempt... (maybe). At any rate, if you do so desire, you can check out my LiveSpace at the following link...


It is so great to be back home........

Long time no See...

Posted by GrYph0n, Aug 17 2006, 09:45 PM in WM Gadget Related

Well it has been a while since the last time I could post. I am happy to report that I am back home in the good ole U.S.A. Since my last post, I had a brief and uneventful visit to Hawaii. About the only thing I got out of that stop was anxioty of returning home, beer, testing my phone on the Cingular network, and setting up exchange push. I can say that everything with the Smartflip works perfectly in all aspects. I am happy that I am not faced with the same problems as many QTek 8500 owners faced. Things work perfectly here in the CONUS (Contentinal United States) as well. This phone is far superior to my trusty SMT5600, and will be something I will hold onto until something similiar comes out offering 3G. I have a few awesome gadgets to play with as well which I won't get into now, but will later. I have the Parrot Rythm n'Blue car stereo / BT Hands free system (completly awesome, with flawless contact sync, etc.), and the ultra slim new Global-Sat BT359W GPS Reciever (which can lock on under a garadge under my dash quickly). I will get some reviews up soon (I hope, but other more pressing things in life at the moment).

Right now, I just got my laptop reconnected to my home network (D/L'ed Windows Updates and program updates for the last several hours with 5MB speeds, <yeah it was a little out of date, 6 months to be exact>), and I am sitting on my deck having a few drinks and exploring things with true high speed internet (oh, how I have missed that).

Anywho, just thought I would keep those that only follow my blog, posted on more current events, and also leave you with the new and improved GrYph0n homescreen...

I call it GrYph0nMobile05, and here it is. If anyone is interested in this screen for modifications, etc. let me know and I will post the needed files. Also have another question for SPWM5 users, does your phones come with a homescreen Carrier plugin that will take you to the CommManager or is that an i-Mate thing?


Let me know what you think, and at any time feel free to PM me or seek me out in the forums...

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Hello From Thailand

Posted by GrYph0n, Jul 15 2006, 09:49 AM in WM Gadget Related

Well I am in Phuket, Thailand now, and I am haveing a pretty good time. First thing on my agenda was a prepaid SIM which I got right away. It is a pretty good international card from AIS that provides me with load of data, and international long distance to the US at about $0.26 per minute (beats Cingulars $1.29 per minute they would charge me). Not only that, I get free incoming calls as well. My accomodations are nice, got a junior suite at a four star hotes with a balocony overlooking the pool and out to the ocean (about 300-500meters away). All and all things are going pretty well and the Smartflip is working out great. It is nice to finally have edge going at 200+K instead of the old regular GPRS. Now I am starting to look forward to 3G speeds. At any rate if anyone happens to be in Thailand in the Phuket area, then give me a call at 66 57 899 210, and we may be able to meet up for a few beers.

I am sure that many of you have noticed that I haven't been around much over the last few weeks. That is simply because I can't access the site at all from ship. We changed "hosts" and for some reason on this one MGN is blocked. I imagine that it is a generic block on blogs and what not, though not all blogs are blocked, just most of the ones that I visited regularly. Sorry, but I don't think I will be on much anymore until I am back in the states (lower 48). I wish I could be here to answer any smartflip questions anyone may have. Well I will be home soon enough, and right back into the swing of things where I will have a little more time and ability to invest back into the community. Oh, special thanks to awarner for hooking me up with the AIS data settings in no time at all. Hope everything is well with everyone in your parts of the world.

Pics from Dubai (taken with smartflip)

Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 29 2006, 05:33 PM in WM Gadget Related

I thought that I would add a few pictures from the Malls in Dubai. All these pictures were taken with my Smartflip and then sized down using photoshop.

Here is a few from the outside of the Ski/Snowboarding slopes and snow park. I wouldn't dare take my new phone in there with me as rusty as I am and as many times I knew I would be falling down.
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Here are a few random pictures taken of the inside of one of the malls.
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This last one may get a few people drooling so you may want to bust out the bid. This is only one capture of the amount of WM devices that I saw during my stay. Some stores seemed to be wall to wall WM gadgets, and the clerks were VERY egar to assist you in owning one or a few.

The latest i-mates
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By the way, I am no longer in U.A.E. There and gone just like that wink.gif

This Place is Great

Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 28 2006, 03:47 PM in Military Career Related

On top of Dubai being a Technology hot bed, there are some pretty amazign things to do here. For instance, just today when it was 120 degrees out side, I went to the Mall of the Emirates. While there I went snowboarding in their indoor ski/snowboarding slopes. It was about 21degrees in there, good thing they rent you all the gear you need for a pretty good price. I had a blast for my 2 hour session and plan on getting a day pass for tomorrow. My bum is a little tender though as I have only done it once in the past and that was a couple of years ago, but I picked it right back up.

Ski Dubai

My New i-mate Smartflip

Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 27 2006, 01:28 PM in WM Gadget Related

Well I am here in the U.A.E. and just happened to notice that i-mate's headquarters it located here in Dubai. I went out in town last night for a little shopping and was able to pick up a new i-mate Smartflip (HTC Star Trek) along with a 1GB microSD card (for a pretty good price). I have done all the basics in installing the things that I use the most. There are a few things that I need to try to download as well to get everything all set up.

So far, I am pleased with this phone, and I am pretty impressed at it's capabilities. There are of course a few cons to it that have been sited in numberous reviews, like the fact that the microSD card is located under the SIM, but you don't have to remove the battery to get to them. Another weird thing is the arabic (naturally), it is funny because my keypad has english and arabic lettering so it makes it a little more unique I guess. One thing that does bother me is that text imput tries to default to arabic no matter what the regional settings are set to, but there is an option to make it english only, but I have had to do that for each new imput. It does have T9 and it works well (that was something that worried me that I hadn't thought about checking before I made my purchase). One thing that is weird, and I don't know if it has anything to do with screen size or resolution, but TCMP behaves a little differently, as in there is no choice in it going to full screen when playing a movie, I have even disabled that feature. It isn't a huge deal, and it could be something pertaining to 5.0 for all I know. All of my smartphone software is pretty dated since I have been using the 5600 all this time. I will continue to use and play with my new toy as much as possible and keep everyone updated as well as I can. Keep in mind that I am very limited though since I have no data capabilities at all, not even through activesync, so my phone will not meet the internet until I am home. Which is kind of annoying since it came with an anti-virus on it (as recently published on the home page), but the definitions are out of date, so each time I turn the phone on it wants to connect and download the updates. Just a minor annoyance that only happens once each time it is turned on, and that is something that won't matter once I am back home and able to get the updates. Well I guess that is about it for now. Time for me to head out and go play with my phone some more.


I almost had a scare with the arabic text yesterday. I popped my Cingular SIM into the phone and decided to send my wife an SMS. Well when I went to compose the messege, it would not allow the english only feature, and T9 was disabled. I finally found the fix though. In the start menu there is an Arabic settings folder that I didn't mess with too much because when I tried before a screen in all arabic would pop up. Well I tried again and got past the arabic screen where the screen was in english. This is where I found the option to change text imput default, and to disable the arabic imput all together. Now my phone is as normal as can be (for a smartphone), except for the arabic lettering under the english on the keys, but I think that just adds character. Too bad all my software is outdated though, none of my PDAMill games load correctly on the QVGA screen, they just load in the top right corner in a "mini screen".

Back on Ship...

Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 22 2006, 01:07 PM in Military Career Related

Well not much to report really, other than I am back on ship.

I don't know why I never provided the following links a long time ago, but here is another way to keep up with what all we are doing out here.

11th Marine Edpeditionary Unit Home Page

Battalion Landing Team 1/4 Home Page (I am in Bravo Company)

New Toy (Parrot Rythm and Blue)

Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 15 2006, 05:29 PM in WM Gadget Related

Don't you hate it when you buy a new toy, but it will be a couple of months before you get to see it or play with it? What, that doesn't happen that often? Well I am in that boat now. Some of you may know that just before I left for deployment, my Jeep was stolen. It was recovered about an hour after I reported it, and it was completly stripped. When everything got fixed, the shop refused to reinstall the Parrot CK3000 that I had installed (suprised that was still there, but they prob didn't know what it was). The insurance company paid to replace my CD player with a factory deck (which just doesn't do). With my recent reenlistment, I got a small (very small) bonus. I decided to pay off a few credit cards and buy myself some new toys (one so far).

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I just bought the new Parrot Rythem N'Blue Bluetooth CD player. This thing seems to be pretty impressive, and I can't wait until I get my HTC Star Terk and team them up together (by the way, does that phone support BT Stereo?). My wife should have it already installed for my by the time I get home (August sometime <hopefully!>). I plan on picking up the Star Trek in one of the South East Asian countries we are scheduled to stop in. I will do as much as I can with it to prepare it for the states, but I will be limited with the software I have (All 2003SE centered) and the lack of service/connectivity until I get back in the states and reactivate the internet and such. Belive me I will post what I can about the phone when I have the chance, and that goes for the CD player as well. I just love how there is a dial pad on the face, and I hope that the feature will actually work with the Star Trek.


Posted by GrYph0n, Jun 15 2006, 05:19 PM in Military Career Related

Just thought that I would let everyone know that I have just reciently reenlisted in the Marine Corps. My new contract will be up in December of 2011. That will take me to twelve years, so I guess that means that I will be pulling the full twenty.

Happy Birthday Baby!

Posted by GrYph0n, May 29 2006, 03:32 PM

IPB Image I would like to take a moment to wish the most important person in my life a, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Today is my wife's birthday, and even though I can't be there with her on this day, I hope she has a happy one none the less. Yes, I am still rotting here in Kuwait. Can't wait to get back home to you baby...

Live from Kuwait!

Posted by GrYph0n, May 23 2006, 01:59 PM in Military Career Related

Well I have finally managed to get off of the ship for a more than a few days of liberty. I am currently sitting out here in the very hot Kuwaity desert. It is only getting hotter as the days near summer. It is in the triple didgets here by 9am, and continues to climb through out the morning and afternoon. I am pretty much used to it though, but is doesn't make it any more pleasent. Life isn't all that bad out here these days, I am currently on an Army camp that has all sorts of great facilities and resturants. When I was out here back in 1999 it was nothing but open desert for what seemed to be an endless distance. It is still pretty much like that, but there is a little more to things these days. I guess that is all I can really get into about it right now without violating anything. I haven't turned my phone on yet to see if I get signal, but I think I will give it is try one of these days. Hope everything is going well with everyone there back in the states (or where ever you are in the world).

Brief Update...

Posted by GrYph0n, Apr 30 2006, 05:01 PM in Military Career Related

Just thought I would let you all know that I am still out here somewhere. I haven't been in Bahrain for sometime now, but I am still somewhere in the world cool.gif . I really don't have much that I can say at this point other than I am just livin day by day, and waiting to get back home to the family. I will try to post some more pictures in the coming weeks. I am getting a lot of good stuff out here, I just need to screen them for security reasons, and need to make them much much smaller.

Now in Bahrain

Posted by GrYph0n, Apr 19 2006, 12:53 PM in Military Career Related

Well I am currently sitting in an internet cafe in the Kindom of Bahrain. Not really much to talk about since I am not leaving the base here during my visit. This is my 5th time here so it isn't really anything new. I did activate Cingular International, and within minutes of clicking submit, my phone started roaming on Mobile One. Guess they use the 1800 band as well. Funny with all the talks of needing a quadband phone (which I still prefer), I have been able to use my phone everywhere we have stopped. Not that I am going to use international for much more than SMS though (which for Bahrain it is $0.50 sent, and free incoming sms). For phone calls I will still rely on DSN and make a local or $0.03 per minute call versus $1.69 per minute. Still nice to have the ability though, so I will be able to use it if I really feel the need. Well that is about it for now. Until next time...

What have I been up to? Here are some pics...

Posted by GrYph0n, Apr 16 2006, 12:04 AM in Military Career Related

Well as you may have guessed from the update below, I managed to get that new camera I was after in Singapore. Nikon 6mpxl camera for a pretty good price that was well within my budget. I love it when you can talk them down (dropped the price by $100SD which is about $63USD).

I know it has been a while since I last updated, but I have been really busy. There has been a lot going on lately, and here are a few pictures of what has happened. Not going to go into details on some of them for various reasons, but I don't think the pictures will hurt anything.

First off, some of you may wonder how we get from ship to shore. Well there are several ways...

You can take a Helo, or even a boat. It doesn't stop there though. We have these things called Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) that look like this.
Now these things are pretty amazing in the fact that they are completly amphibious. Yes, that means they go in the water. They litterally drive them off of the back of the ship, and then onto a beach. Scary if you think about being in the back of a giant metal box and driving it into the ocean, but in my normal job, that is what I ride around in.
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See told you it was pretty amazing.

Now that is a little part of my normal job. Now lets talk about what I am doing now. I am in charge of Combat Cargo, which used to be known as Ships Company or Ships Platoon. Personally I think the term Combat Cargo is pretty self explanatory, but if you must know, I deal with all the Marines side of the cargo, vehicles, and equipment aboard the ship. I am largely involved with offloading and on loading as far as the Marine aspect is concerned. Here are just a few more pictures of some of the things along those lines.
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Okay that isn't showing near what I have recently done, but for security reasons, that is all I am going to show you.

Now you may be asking yourself, how do we get all that big stuff ashore when we are at sea. It's simple, we use giant hovercrafts.
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Yes, those to just pull in and out of the ship, but are much much larger than an AAV, matter of fact these things can carry AAVs.

One may also wonder how the ships refuel and resupply without pulling into ports all the time. Well I just so happen to have pictures that show that as well.
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That about covers that.

I will leave this with a picture of me at sunset, and then one of me sitting here at the computer.

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Well that's it for now, until next time...

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Welcome to Singapore...

Posted by GrYph0n, Mar 29 2006, 04:47 AM in Military Career Related

Well I arrived in beautiful Singapore yesterday. I have been here before, spent New Years 2001 here, and I can say that this city is very impressive. It is the cleanest city in the world, and prob one of the most strict as well.
The first thing I did once I was off the boat was change my money from Australian to Sing Dollar, then I stopped by a local cell phone shop. This place had it all, and it was just a little hole in the wall shop that sold and repaired phones. I think they had almost every WM device that is out on GSM, though I thought it was weird when the guy told me he had never seen a phone like mine. Anywho, I picked up a local Starhub SIM card (that is the carrier my phone was roaming on), and it fired right up. Now I am able to call back to the U.S. much cheaper with the local SIM and a local phone card. Total out of pocket expence is less than $30(SD). Today I plan on going gadget shopping, I am looking for a camera, and also to see what kind of phones they have on the market out here.

Well time to get to it, I hope all is well with everyone back in the USA, and everywhere else for that matter.
If anyone happens to be in Singapore between now and 31 March, feel free to give me a call at (65) 9164 5049

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Another Sleepless Night...

Posted by GrYph0n, Mar 26 2006, 06:59 PM in Military Career Related

Found a little time to actually get on a computer for more than a few minutes. Granted it is almost 3am in this time zone (16 hours ahead of PST), so there aren't that many people up and about. We are nearing our next port of call, and I am looking forward to it. I have been to this place before about 4 or 5 years ago and really enjoyed it. Some say it is the cleanest city in the world (sorry but that is as specific I can get right now), and I belive it. I am hoping to find some interesting and inexpensive electronics here as well. I regret in many ways that I didn't upgrade to a new phone before leaving, yes I still have and use my old trusty 5600 (longest I have maintained and used any single gadget), my regrets are only because of the lack of the 900 band. Well luckily I was able to find a carrier for the next port that actually uses the 1800 band (Thanks to GSMWorld.com), so I plan on purchasing a pre-paid SIM card, and a phone card so I will be able to use my phone verses standing in lines to use public pay phones out in the heat of the day. I am really looking forward to getting off the boat for some R&R considering that I haven't left the ship since we pulled out of Hawaii (seems like forever ago). I can already tell that my patience is starting to ware really thin with some of the people around here. I am easily annoyed by little things that never really bothered me much in the beginning, but that is expected to happen in such close quarters for extended periods of time. Heh, now one of my concerns is hoping that if I break down and buy a PSP game or two, that it will actually work in my PSP. I am sure that they are regionally coded, but I don't know if that will apply to the games. I don't plan on buying any UMD movies, but I would like to pick up a few games since I have beaten the ones that I have. If anyone knows any more on that front please let me know. I don't have the patience to research it with this sub-dialup speed connection. Well I guess that pretty much covers it for now, I will try to post more once I am in port if I can manage to get a connection that doesn't cost me an arm and a leg. Hope all is well in all your worlds.

Things Change

Posted by GrYph0n, Mar 19 2006, 12:24 PM in Military Career Related

Well if there is one thing a person at sea can count on is that plans and things change. Usually they change at the last possible minute. Most of the time it isn't a big deal because I can roll with the punches and think on the move, but some changes really throw a wrench in the works and bring everyone down. This change in particular involves the port I mentioned before for R&R. We were scheduled to pull into Townsville, Australia yesterday, but we were diverted within 20 hours of pulling in. Now it is going to be much longer until we hit a port and I am about out of smokes. I had pleanty to get me through what was to be the next port. It isn't even a big deal on that though, we pulled into a port prior (Cairns) where I wasn't able to get off the ship at all, but I did manage to change quiet a bit of money to Australian dollars in preparation for Townsville because I didn't want to have to wait in even longer lines to do it there. Heh, now I have limited cash to use at the ship store and for sodas, so it is going to be an interesting period of time between now and the next port of call. Yeah, it may seem like I am complaining, but honestly I am, it was within reach and then we pulled away because of cyclone Larry (the reason we left). Anyone that has been to Australia knows exactly why I am a little more than upset we didn't get to go. I have been to Australia once before and it was the most amazing place that I have visited yet, but Thialand is a close second. I can't really get into where I am going, but it is known for cheaper electronics and such so I may stumble upon some pretty cool gadgets. I will make sure I have my phone with me to take some pictures if I see anything before I have the chance to get a camera. I will try to post more once we get there, esp. if I have anything interesting to report. Hope everyone is doing well back in the states, I am doing what I can to maintain sanity out here...

I really need a camera...

Posted by GrYph0n, Mar 13 2006, 09:53 AM in Military Career Related

Yup, I think I am going to break down and finally get another camera. I left my only one back home with the wife, and it isn't all that great to begin with.

I just really need to digitally capture all the things that there is to see out here. Everything from helo operations, refueling (belive it or not, it is pretty cool), and other misc things. Plus the amazing scenes, like the water where I am at is so amazingly clear (well a blue greenish color) you can almost see to the bottom. I have been here before and done a little snorkling off of the reef (think hard about that one), and it was amazing. I should be stopping in a port for some R&R in the coming future (where I plan to buy a camera). Once I get a camera, I will try to share some of my pictures depending on time and computer availablilty since the internet is sub dialup speeds normally. I guess I should be greatful considering that there was a day that snail mail was your best bet.

Well guess that is about it for now, I am going to try to catch up on some site reading...

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